Yesterday was a day on the run. My feet didn’t stop moving until sometime after 9pm last night and L was finally asleep. When I sat down, I felt like I was still moving, and my mind was jogging at a pace I couldn’t keep up with (which doesn’t say much). So I just sat there on the couch, holding our 2 month old, breathing and trying to step on the brakes. I find decompressing to be a difficult thing. I’m always anticipating the next thing to the fault of not fully being present in the moments I find myself in. Sometimes I catch myself not really breathing at all. Instead, settling for the short, choppy breathes in my upper-chest that leave one feeling tense and rushed.

Then, Emily came and sat down beside me and at first I was too busy thinking about myself (not being able to decompress mostly) and feeling too unsettled to interact with her. Then as I got a grip on my interior I asked her a question. “What’s your favorite song?” She protested at the difficulty and vastness of the question, but was obviously willing to play along. So I revised it, “What song is a timeless song for you, something you can listen to anywhere anytime and appreciate its beauty?” This appealed more and the wheels started turning. After awhile she responded, “Fire and Rain” and then went on to explain her reasons (all of which were interesting). I don’t think I would have ever picked this song for her, though I know she loves James Taylor and I even find the record sitting beside the player every so often after work. We talked for a good hour about music and then we moved onto favorite literature. At one point while I was sharing my favorite(s) I got up and turned on “Boots of Spanish Leather” on the record player. It was peaceful sitting there with the woman I have loved for ten years and talking about familiar topics, in familiar ways, and yet still discovering new things about her. As I sat there sipping tea, dipping in and out of conversation and silence, learning about things she loves, and enjoying her presence, I found myself completely relaxed and at peace. I was pulling breathes from deep in my diaphragm. I’d like to decompress like this everyday.

So what about you? “What song is a timeless song for you, something you can listen to  anywhere anytime and appreciate its beauty?”